Who to call: 311 or 911?
One thing you may not know about reporting car alarms in New York City is that while you can report it by calling 311, if the alarm is currently sounding when you call, the 311 operator will ask you to call 911. It seems seriously wasteful to do this, but it’s standard procedure. So now I just call 911. I don’t know if those calls are tracked in any way, but that’s what you have to do. They don’t usually respond, but now that we have foot patrols in the neighborhood (Bushwick), I have seen a car with a sounding alarm get ticketed—once.
For cars that are repeat offenders, I make a 311 call as well. (For the worst repeat offenders, a letter goes to my city councilman, but that’s a subject for another post.)
Do other cities have this “call 911” rule? What’s the procedure for reporting car alarms in your jurisdiction?